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University Center, Michigan

College of Health and Wellness @ Delta College

the Project stats


Construction Manager

WTA Architects


  • LEED Gold
  • 4-month schedule utilizing two-shifts
  • Savings of 169,000 gallons of water with a greywater retention system
  • Reduction of 40,000 kWH in energy consumption
  • Michigan Capital Outlay-funded project

the Project study

As previous facility spaces were deteriorating and did not meet the needs of Delta’s highly technical Allied Health and Nursing programs, this project was designed to upgrade existing facilities to offer new instructional methodologies and technologies.  Renovations also addressed infrastructure concerns and HVAC upgrades and included improvements to enhance student and public accessibility.  Also included were toilet room upgrades, signage, site lighting, and upgrades to the emergency/essential power and lighting systems.

A unique, soil-free system, the three-story Living Wall is an Active Biofilter that removes common indoor contaminants known as “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs).  Indoor air is actively drawn through the wall of plants and, with no disposal issues, contaminants are broken down into the benign elements of water and carbon dioxide.  As the wall is fully integrated into the building’s air handling system, the clean air is then distributed by the facility’s mechanical ventilation system.

“We estimate we will save 169,000 gallons of water each year,” says Larry Ramseyer, director, Delta College Facilities Management.  The grey water retention system is an effective approach toward water conservation; the rooftop drains collect rainwater, subsurface foundation drains capture groundwater, and air-condition condensate is piped into the system’s underground storage tank.  Swirl filters clean solids, dirt, and particulates out of the water pumped from the tank and well pumps deliver the filtered water through a separate, dedicated piping system to toilets and to the hydroponic green wall.